Call for calm after ‘meat’ found in plant-based meals

Traces of pork and turkey have been found in meat-free products sold in Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

The Daily Telegraph tested 10 vegan and vegetarian products and found meat in two of them – there were traces of pork and turkey DNA in Sainsbury’s own brand meat-free meatballs and Tesco’s Wicked Kitchen BBQ Butternut Mac respectively.

The Food Standards Agency is investigating the findings. Both companies said their own initial analyses had not raised any issues, according to a report by the BBC.

Derek Sarno, co-founder of Wicked Healthy and director of plant-based innovation at Tesco, told Footprint: “We tested them [the meals in question] and they showed nothing.”

In a blog on the Wicked Healthy site, Sarno wrote: “These ‘alleged’ claims sound like a lot of shit slinging. We’re investigating further into how and what has been found because the source refuses to disclose the full report.”

Matthew Glover, co-founder of Veganuary said the headlines “might sound shocking to many vegans and vegetarians, but I would argue that we need to be calm and considered here”.

He added: “It is unclear whether the animal DNA found is actually ‘meat’ as the headlines suggest. Most vegan products are made in non-vegan factories, so most vegans already accept there is a risk of contamination.”

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